ISTVAN SZENTMICHALYI: A GLORIFICATION OF THE MODERNIST ARTIST, OR HOW TO READ THE 'LAST FAREWELL FANFARE OF THAT DYING SWARM' TODAY (Polish title- below)
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(Title in Polish - 'Istvan Szentmichalyi - gloryfikacja modernistycznego artysty, czyli jak czytac dzis 'pozegnalna fanfare ginacego mrowia'). The text is devoted to possible ways of interpreting 'The Beelzebub Sonata' and its main character, Istvan Szentmichalyi. The authoress analyses the character in the context of S.I. Witkiewicz's Artist type as a creation of a modernist protagonist. In the first part, she makes use not only of the rich tradition of research relating to the types of dramatis personae in Witkiewicz's plays, but she also discusses other artists inhabiting the world of drama. The analysis shows that Istvan's position among other Artists devised by Witkiewicz is quite exceptional as he crowns the whole type, just as Gyubal Wahazar crowns the Titans type. In the second part, she refers to the conceptual framework put forth by Richard Sheppard to define the modernist artist, and she shows how the character of Istvan can be located within the modernist art discourse of the epoch. She argues that, despite of the ubiquitous mockery and jarring grotesque, the creation of 'The Beelzebub Sonata's' main character is an attempt to reintroduce the metaphors of depth, and this is how she propose to read the whole drama.
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